Residents of ‘high-risk’ New York counties should wear masks in indoor public places: Health Department

NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) – The New York State Department of Health recommends that people in high-risk counties wear masks in all indoor public places, regardless of their vaccination status.

According to the CDC, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan and Ulster counties are now considered high risk.

Most of New York City is listed as medium risk; the Bronx is considered low risk.

In addition to high-risk counties, health officials say anyone with a weakened immune system should remain masked indoors in public places.

“These public health measures, along with good ventilation at gatherings, will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in communities and reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization for individuals. We will continue to work with local partners and to make every tool at our disposal widely available to New Yorkers as we move through the pandemic,” said state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett , in a press release.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said the county will not change any policies.

“We encourage everyone to lead their normal lives,” he said.

Blakeman says his decision is based on hospitalizations and intensive care admissions — without the state line, which also counts cases and deaths.

“If these numbers were to reach a dangerous level then, of course, we would seek advice from our health commissioner and we would follow the appropriate protocols. But at the moment we are not close to a crisis situation,” added Blakeman. .

Some Nassau County residents say they have moved on, despite the risks.

“I’m on the railroad every day, we’re wearing masks – we’re being careful. But at the same time, I think we’ve had enough at this point and we need to move on,” Blaine Capobianco said. .

Others don’t understand reluctance.

“You know, if it worked before, let’s do what worked before,” said an unnamed Nassau County resident.

While New York State has a mask recommendation, Blakeman says he wouldn’t rule out a mask order in Nassau County, but insists his own data doesn’t come close to supporting that.

Some residents told us they have moved on, despite the risks.

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